Five Myths About Immigration A Summary Of David Cole's View.

946 words - 4 pages

Author David Cole explains in "Five Myths about Immigration" that people are misinformed about immigrants in America and blame them for all the problems in the American society. Cole comments that the "Native Americans", which have nothing to do with what we call Native Americans today, were labeled as "Know-Nothings" because they simply did not know anything about immigrants and prejudged immigrants who came into the country. The author quotes one "Know-Nothing" for saying that "more than half the prisons and almshouses, more than half the police and the cost of administering criminal justice are for foreigners." In the 1860s, immigrants arrived from Ireland and Germany causing "anti-alien and anti-Catholic sentiments" to appear in states such as Massachusetts and New York. Cole takes this topic to heart because his ancestors were among the "dirt-poor Irish-Catholics" who moved to America in the 1960s but were fortunate because after fifteen years the prejudice faded away. Now, 140 years later, the author points out that a similar prejudice has returned with the exception that the focus has changed from "Irish Catholics and Germans" to "Latin Americans (most recently, Cubans), Haitians, and Arab-Americans." Cole explains how five commonly held beliefs regarding immigrants to the United States, are in reality "myths."Cole's first misunderstanding "myth" is that "America is being overrun with immigrants." America is a "nation of immigrants", which has been true since Christopher Columbus landed in this country. Although most Americans believe that foreign-born people make up a large population of the United States, Cole notes that only eight percent of immigrants fall in this category. In fact, "between seventy and eighty percent" of those who immigrate each year are "refugees and immediate relatives of U.S. citizens." In addition, immigrants living in the United States only make up one percent of the country's population. "Most aliens do not cross the border illegally," emphasizes Cole, "but enter legally and remain after their student of visitor visa expires."Cole's second "myth" is a misjudgment that "Immigrants take jobs from U.S. citizens." This is a common misunderstanding Americans have about immigrants. It is easier for a person to point out that jobs are being taken away from U.S. citizens, Cole argues, than to admit that immigrants have indeed started successful business employing both citizens and immigrants alike. As documented by a 1994 A.C.L.U Immigrants' Rights Project report, various studies prove that immigrants "create more jobs than they fill." Cole mentions a study that found 78,000 new jobs were created in the Los Angeles County between 1970 and 1980 because of Mexican immigration. Cole comments how Governor Mario Cuomo of New York announced immigrants have provided thousands of jobs from 40,000 immigrant owned companies which provided "$3.5 billion to the state's economy every year."Cole's third...

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